25 Feb Children’s Dental Health Month
You’ve heard (or are currently living through) the old adage “Kids grow up SO FAST!”. It certainly pertains to every aspect of their lives, whether it’s learning new things, growing out of things, or picking up good/bad habits. As parents, it’s important to lead by example. Healthy habits are a good thing for everyone, so setting your children up with a fantastic oral hygiene routine at an early age can save you headaches and money down the road.
Hard as it may be to believe, a child’s teeth can begin decaying as early as age 1. Even before your child has teeth, you can help prepare them for the importance of building a proper oral hygiene routine. Use a gentle cloth or an infant toothbrush during bath time. Give your child a rubber chew ring (avoid plastic or liquid-filled) to help alleviate the pain and trauma of teething. Also, if your baby is using a pacifier, avoid dipping it in sugar or other sweets. This can and will invite tooth decay.
As your child gets a little older, make sure you are helping them brush their teeth at least TWICE per day: once in the morning and once at night before they go to bed. Brushing their teeth before they go to bed is especially important, as letting a nighttime snack go without brushing can really do a number on your child’s teeth. It’s also a good time to start introducing them to the concept and importance of flossing (no, not the dance move).
At school age, if you’ve been helping your children with their oral hygiene routine, they will have hopefully developed some excellent habits to help them keep their mouths healthy. It’s recommended that parents monitor their children’s brushing and flossing habits until around 8 years old, and although it can get tricky keeping your children’s focus on proper techniques, there are plenty of ways to help them. Internet videos, songs, and stories are all great ways to help pass the 2 minutes of time that may seem like an eon to a child trying to brush their teeth.
Along with all of this, it is critically important to your child’s short term and long term oral health that you bring them to see their dentist. Regularly scheduled visits are your best defense against abnormal development, tooth decay and other problems that lack of proper attention can lead to. Thank you for letting us help you and your children grow up with healthy mouths and beautiful smiles. See you soon!